GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Naomi Hackmann once looked out at the clouds while traveling on an airline and wondered what it would be like to touch one.

The 88-year-old great-grandmother recently got her chance.

She went skydiving for the first time with JumpTN at the Greeneville Municipal Airport.

"It was absolutely marvelous," Hackmann said after her jump early May 26.

Asked if she had a chance to grab a cloud, she replied with a huge smile, "I did. I just couldn't get it to come down with me."

The jump was an early birthday present from friends. Hackmann will be 89 in September.

Skydiving is something she has wanted to do for years, inspired by her airplane trips and footage of skydivers on television.

"I have wanted to sky dive for a long time," she said.

"I saw a group on television who were skydiving. They were grasping hands and jumping from cloud to cloud. They were having a ball. I thought, 'I would like to do that.'"

Airline flights also were an inspiration for Hackmann's desire to sky dive. "When you are on airline, you look out the window and see the clouds," she said. "They are so beautiful. I have wanted to reach out and grab one."

After arriving at JumpTN, Hackmann's first order was watching a safety video that also explained the tandem jumping method for first-time jumpers to learn the sport. After watching the video, Hackmann was not hesitant about following through on her decision to skydive.

"I am ready to go now," she said as the video ended.

As friends asked if she was ready as she waited for her group's time to skydive, Hackmann's wide smile always accompanied her affirmative reply. "I am like a child with a new toy," she said.

There was a bit more to do before the jump: She was given some instructions about the tandem technique, and she demonstrated she could physically do the maneuvers needed in the jump and the landing. Angie Alley, co-owner of JumpTN, was the tandem jumper with Hackmann.

After getting into the jumpsuit and harness connecting her to Alley, she posed for photos with family and friends who gathered to watch her high-flying adventure.

The skydive itself was peaceful, Hackman said.

"You could just see the whole world," she said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.